Letters of James Bridie (1888-1951)
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 237 Coll-821
- Dates of Creation1944-1945
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description3 letters. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
- LocationGen. 1981/30; Gen. 2039/63-64
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The playwright Osborne Henry Mavor (James Bridie) was born in Glasgow on 13 January 1888. He was the son of engineering pioneer Henry Mavor (1858-1915) who became a leading maker of motors and dynamos. The younger Mavor was educated at Glasgow Academy and he studied at Glasgow University from which he graduated with a medical degree in 1913. During the First World War he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Flanders and in the area now known as Iraq. He served again during the Second World War. His first play was The sunlight sonata which was written under the pseudonym Mary Henderson, and produced in 1928. Succeeding works were written under the more well known pseudonym of James Bridie. In 1929 came The switchback and then What it is to be young. His first major success was The anatomist (1930) based on the lives of Dr. Robert Knox and Burke and Hare. Other work included Tobias and the angel (1930), Jonah and the whale (1932), A sleeping clergyman (1933), Susannah and the elders (1937), and Mr. Bolfry (1943). Scottish themes and symbolism featured in his post-war work which included The Forrigan reel (1944), Dr. Angelus (1947), John Knox (1947), Daphne Laureola (1949), and The Baikie Charivari (1952). Bridie founded the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre in 1943 and was awarded the C.B.E. in 1946. James Bridie (Osborne Henry Mavor) died in Edinburgh in 1951.
Conditions Governing Access
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Keay, John and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.
Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.
Other Finding Aids
Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.
Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.